Awesome Apps: Rapportive

Being a web development and marketing company for the healthcare staffing industry we use a lot of online apps and services to make our business run more smoothly. Sometimes, we find ourselves taking these tools for granted.

From time to time we'll be discussing some of our favorite applications in front of a client and find they have never heard of the application before. When these clients have acted on our recommendations they've told us later about how they too are now enjoying the app. This has happened enough that we've now been inspired to start a new line of posts to discuss this very topic.

These new posts will be categorized as "Awesome Apps" and we'll use them to discuss different applications we use at Staffing Robot to make our days easier (or even just more enjoyable). We hope these posts are of interest to all of you and that you find value in learning about them.

Screen shot 2011-03-28 at 1.09.39 PM This first post is about one of our favorite applications: Rapportive. Although we wouldn't necessarily consider Rapportive a critical business application, it is still an awesome app that makes our sales and account management much more effective.

Networking is a critical component to succeeding with your online marketing strategies and the contacts you make are key. When marketing online, particularly in social media networks, the number of these contacts you can gain is overwhelming. Therefore properly managing them all is essential.

Most popular CRM tools out there do a great job with contact management. However, so many of them seem to be overblown (salesforce.com) with too many features. In comes Rapportive.

Rapportive is an application that works with Gmail to help you better manage your email contacts and learn more about the people you engage with. The app works as a browser addon. Once installed, when you receive an email from someone, the app aggregates online social profile information about the person and displays it to you right in your inbox. This data appears even if this is your first contact with this person. Slick huh?

The profile information displayed is intended to help you:

  • Easier identify the person you're engaging with
  • Better connect you to this person by creating more connection points with them on the web
  • Help you discern the value of this contact

Screen shot 2011-03-28 at 12.53.17 PM

What info does the tool aggregate and display?

You can immediately see a picture of the person, where they’re located, the company they work for and their role/title. More than just professional interests, it also allows you to see the sites they engage with online. This information gives you a great understanding of how they use the web and how social they are, as well as allowing you to see if you have any shared interests you may not have known about.

Rapportive displays profile information for contacts from data it pulls from quite an extensive list of sites including:

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • Picaso
  • Skype
  • You Tube
  • Yelp
  • About.me

The great thing about having this information is that you can instantly connect with people on any of these other sites, right from your inbox (we often find ourselves immediately connecting to people on LinkedIn when we get emails from new contacts).

In addition, you can add notes directly into the Rapportive profile display of any contact. In doing so, you have all the information you need on a contact the next time they email you, or any time you need it.

Another cool feature – if you are connected to someone on another website, you can see things in their Rapportive profile like their latest tweets, status updates on LinkedIn, newest images on Flickr, etc., right in your inbox!

All of this sounds great but you might be wondering what people see about you right?

Not to worry. After you install Rapportive, you can easily edit your personal profile. Just click "my profile" at the bottom of the sidebar display with your information. You can hover your mouse over any part of the profile to change it. Your changes will instantly be seen by anybody who views your profile on Rapportive.

Interestingly, this app also provides you with some basic stats such as – how many times your profile has been viewed by the people you email.

Go here if you want to learn how to install Rapportive.

At Staffing Robot, we haven't fully replaced our internal CRM with Rapportive. Currently, it's used 'in addition to.' That said, we do find it helps us tremendously for furthering our connections and interests with people, as well as to better identify new contacts.

If you're curious, give Rapportive a try. It's an awesome app we highly recommend. Anyone out there currently using Rapportive? If so, let us know what you think!

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